Blockbuster trade Patriots must offer Falcons for Julio Jones
Devoid of proven offensive weapons, the New England Patriots profile as a great landing spot for Julio Jones, the unhappy Atlanta Falcons star wide receiver. Reports surfaced during Monday morning’s episode of Undisputed after he was called on-air by Shannon Sharpe about his ongoing situation, public confirmation that added even more fuel to all of the rumors about his next destination.
Adding Jones to the Patriots would provide him with a clear shot at being the target share leader, but uneven QB play between veteran Cam Newton and rookie Mac Jones could very easily lower his ceiling, impacting both on-field and fantasy production. General manager and head coach Bill Belichick has been around this league for a long time, and understanding the kind of impact Jones could have on his depleted offense makes a ton of sense.
Compensation is likely the biggest unknown behind acquiring Julio Jones, seeing as how the team reportedly wants a first-round pick back in return for the injury-plagued 32-year-old receiver. While the Pats are unlikely to meet those demands, here is what they should look to offer Atlanta instead.
Patriots receive: WR Julio Jones & 2022 6th round pick
Falcons receive: RB Sony Michel & 2022 3rd round pick
While as tempting as it would be to throw CB Stephon Gilmore in as a part of this deal heading to Atlanta (especially with the rumors that circulated about his current contract status), the Falcons’ cap sheet would look so much better if it was provided with some relief for this upcoming season. With RB Sony Michel being in the final year of his rookie contract after the Pats declined his fifth-year option, he would join Atlanta as a cheap option to help provide important depth at the RB position.
The 2022 3rd round pick certainly is not at the same level as the 1st that they have publicly said they have wanted, but it represents a Day 2 selection that could be really good, especially if the first season with a rookie QB under center does not go well.
Adding Michel to an RB room that really only includes Mike Davis at this point would provide a middling 1-2 punch for ATL to work with this season. With Todd Gurley having not returned this offseason, Davis was brought in after filling in admirably for the injured Christian McCaffrey and the Carolina Panthers last season, currently projecting to be the team’s bell cow.
This may just be a conversation at this point, but Belichick and the Patriots are in desperate need of a proven offensive weapon, and even if they only get 10-12 games out of Julio Jones if his injury history flares up again, it would be a win-win for both sides.
To help acclimate Mac Jones into the league in his first season would be quite helpful, and Julio Jones could easily inject some life into a putrid offense for this upcoming season.
The Falcons, who would be foolish to take a solid weapon away from QB Matt Ryan, now have no choice but to trade Julio Jones after the public confirmation of what we have known for a while – and while a move to the Patriots would not necessarily be the ‘winning location’ that Julio Jones talked about with Sharpe on his Monday show, it certainly would represent a change in scenery, something that could do him good.